This book is an exploration of the spiritual traditions of ancient Europe, focusing on the numinous presence of the divine feminine in Russia, Central Europe, France, Britain, Ireland and the northern regions. Drawing upon research in archaeology, history, sociology, anthropology and the study of religions to connect the reader with the myths and symbols of the European traditions, the book shows how the power of European goddesses and holy women evolved through the ages, adapting to climate change and social upheaval, but continually reflecting the importance of living in an harmonious relationship with the environment and the spirit world. From the cave painting of southern France to ancient Irish tombs, from shamanic rituals to Arthurian legends, the divine feminine plays an essential role in understanding where we have come from and where we are going. Comparative examples from other native cultures, and quotes from spiritual leaders around the world, set European religions in context with other indigenous cultures.
|Publisher:||McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Sharon Paice MacLeod is a Harvard-trained Celticist, grant-funded researcher, historical consultant and professional musician. She has taught Celtic literature, mythology and folklore at the university level and lives in New England.
Table of Contents
Preface: To Remember Is to Know 1
Part I Archaeology - Sacred Stories from the Earth
1 Through the Past Darkly 9
2 Sanctuaries of Consciousness 18
3 Voices from the Forest 30
4 The Ancient Mothers of Europe 42
5 The Sickle and the Hearth 56
Part II Anthropology - Transforming Divine Wisdom
6 The Power of the Inner World 75
7 The Vessel and the Sword 94
8 Priestess, Goddess and Warrior Woman 117
Part III Mythology - The Spiritual Origins of Europe
9 The Cauldron of Immortality 135
10 The Tribes of the Goddess 161
11 The Once and Future Goddess 182
12 She Who Dwells Within Us 204
Chapter Notes 217
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Here is an inspiring work that shows just how much western civilization was shaped by both sacred women and indigenous tribal cultures. The Divine Feminine in Ancient Europe by Sharon Paice MacLeod, (McFarland & Company, Inc., 2013), looks at western spiritual traditions from the Paleolithic through the Medieval eras. MacLeod provides clear evidence of what has been lost, both in the deliberately suppressed, nearly forgotten worship of female divinities and in the sexual polarization inherent in western monotheism. The book speaks eloquently to the need to retrieve and honour the Divine Feminine; to reconnect with the natural world and the world of spirit, and in so doing, remember what it is to be fully human. The book highlights the latest in archeological, anthropological, and genetic research to unveil the distant past. It provides a thorough exploration of European mythologies and folklore and shows us where the remnants of ancient wisdom still live. In particular, the chapter on the pre-Christian and Celtic origins of the Arthurian legends and the powerful, divine women who enliven them are enthralling. We also hear the voices of modern aboriginal elders, leaders and shamans, female and male, and are able to discern continuity between their worldviews and those of ancient Europeans. The book is also a refreshing change from texts that emphasize only the negative, violent elements of European history, as it provides rich examples of the life affirming elements in western culture. MacLeod’s intensive study of the materials available to us makes clear that restoring spiritual balance to our frenetic, technologically dependent society is essential for human survival. This balance is critical, not only to withstand the challenges of our times, but to thrive in them.
Sharon Paice MacLeod has done it again. Another terrific book that stays true to the authenticity of the subject matter. If you are looking to educate yourself regarding our ancestors' traditions and beliefs, this is an author that is a must for your personal library.